Sundridge adviser concerned about doctor recruitment website

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The chair of the Sundridge and District Medical Center committee believes some communities in Ontario may have difficulty retaining doctors due to doctor shortages.

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Steve Hicks, also an adviser to Sundridge, says he recently learned of an organization that recruits doctors and medical professionals for employers in Canada and abroad.

Hicks was referring to the company MDSearch, which has been in the healthcare recruitment industry for about 20 years.

Hicks said he learned about MDSearch through a conversation with a doctor.

Hicks told The Nugget that the doctor shortage has created opportunities for companies like MDSearch to help employers attract doctors to their communities.

Hicks believes it wouldn’t be a problem if the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario allowed the province’s medical schools to increase medical student enrollment, thereby reducing the doctor shortage. sooner than later.

“The college has created a situation where physicians are overvalued and undersupplied,” Hicks said.

Hicks has no doubt that good people work for MDSearch.

But he pointed out that when MDSearch actively recruits doctors for employers, the organization pulls doctors away from communities that already have an active patient load.

“And that really underscores the importance of physician retention not just for Sundridge but everywhere because physicians are an incredibly valuable commodity,” he said.

Hicks said he was not concerned that the two doctors working at Sundridge and District Medical Center were at risk of leaving.

But he was concerned about what Ontario’s overall doctor shortage meant for communities and how serious the problem was.

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“I’m not sure the provincial and federal governments are really aware of the situation that’s being created and how communities are competing for doctors right now,” Hicks said.

“They’re not paying attention and I think it’s very low on the priority list. We need to make more noise if we want anything to be done about it.

Hicks said while the Northern Ontario School of Medicine sees more than 60 graduate students each year, few practice medicine in rural Ontario.

The MDSearch website says doctors on its radar receive notifications about new job postings faster and easier than if they searched for a practice location on their own.

The site also says it’s there for doctors who are looking to end their careers, are halfway through, or are just getting started.

MDSearch says it helps doctors connect with top healthcare employers in Canada, the United States and around the world, adding that the offers can be lucrative.

The website has a job posting that council doctors can visit and they can also talk to a recruiter.

Hicks acknowledges this is all on top of everything, but says organizations like MDSearch are making it harder for communities to keep their doctors.

He adds that it is even more difficult for small municipalities because they do not have enough money to attract a doctor with a signing bonus and then be able to keep them.

It wasn’t until the last few months that Sundridge was back full with two doctors when the medical center committee was able to lure Dr. Marion Baechler to the Almaguin area with a $25,000 signing bonus. and helping her pay to move.

Prior to Baechler’s arrival, the Sundridge area had had only one physician for more than two years.

Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works at the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

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